Brief outages possible today
Steamboat Springs — There could be some brief power outages today as Yampa Valley Electric Association crews repair the damage caused by lightning throughout Routt County on Saturday night.
YVEA spokesman Jim Chappell said any outages would likely only last from two to five minutes.
“The lighting this year has just been incredible,” Chappell said.
He was referring to record number of outages this summer that have been both lighting- and human-caused.
YVEA’s substation near the Steamboat Springs Airport took a direct hit from lighting early Saturday evening. That resulted in “brownout” conditions and outages in areas west of the Stock Bridge Transit Center to Milner.
A brownout is the result of a decrease in voltage flow and causes dimming or partial elimination of electricity in areas. During such an event, people are reminded to unplug appliances and all electronic equipment.
There were also downed power lines caused by lighting strikes on Routt County roads 44, 42 and 56, Chappell said. There were numerous reports of brush fires in areas of R.C.R. 129 near the Elk River Estates and along R.C.R. 44 near Diamondback Way. Wet conditions kept the fires from spreading. There were also reports of smoke in residences and business that were likely caused by power surges. Fireballs of electricity ran down some power lines.
Crews were still working Sunday to restore power to parts of Steamboat Springs including areas around Riverside Center, Pine Grove Road and cabins near the Steamboat Golf Club.
Power was restored to upwards of 300 homes in the Fish Creek area Sunday morning. Lightning is also suspected of being the cause of that outage, which lasted from about 12:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday morning.
There were also outages in Clark and power had been restored by Sunday morning, Chappell said.
Crews today will continue assessing the damage at the airport substation, which has been taken out of service. Power is being diverted from the Brooklyn and Mount Werner substations, Chappell said.
Two insulators were damaged at the airport substation, Chappell said, and three sections of overhead lines had burned down.
“Hopefully there is nothing wrong with that transformer,” Chappell said.
It could take more than six months to replace a transformer and would cost around $1 million, he said.
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Steamboat Springs is expected to finish off July with slightly more precipitation than in previous years.